If you’ve read my first fiction book ‘Can a Fat Girl Get a First Kiss?’ you should know that there’s a lot of me and my childhood in that book. You also need to know what kind of impact negative body image has had on my life. Why? Because there are many of us out there who don’t deserve to live in that kind of hell. For years. For decades. Sometimes an entire lifetime.
A lot of people don’t understand why I don’t keep in touch with my school mates – online or offline. It’s because of the bad memories. When I did respond to a classmate or two who got back in touch with me after we all went off to college, one saw me and immediately remarked how I was even bigger than before, and the other messaged me and asked, “Are you still fat?”
My body fat defined me. Every day, my weight and shape ruled over my thoughts. It kept me insecure and feeling ugly and unlike the other girls. Fast forward to my college years in USA, I got much respite. People were actually too mature and busy to comment on my appearance – unless they had something good to say! My heart thanked them silently each time they said I looked pretty. My heart thanked them even more for not injuring my already battered body image.
Back in India again, I spent a few more years letting some temporary friends repeat the hurtful words, “You have such a pretty face. If only you weren’t so fat.” Something I had heard from the girls in school and from relatives for years.
After I hit 31, I realised that I couldn’t go on like this. Saying goodbye to the toxic people wasn’t enough. I hated myself. I constantly compared myself to every woman in every room I was in. It hurt my brain sometimes but bad habits die hard.
So I finally took a step forward to feel better. Thanks to a couple of years of therapy with a psychologist, I have learned to love myself, including every inch of my body. I still can’t believe that I spent over THIRTY YEARS being so unkind to myself. THIRTY YEARS spent treating myself as a body – forgetting that I am not my body fat. There is so much more to each of us than our body shape and size. Really!
I’ve always been open about my mental health struggles and this has definitely been a major part of my journey. Please be kind when you respond.
My ebook ‘Can a Fat Girl Get a First Kiss?’ is available on Amazon sites worldwide🙂